Lightning causes house fire hours after strike

Firefighters say lightning likely caused a fire in Port Orange that displaced a 92-year-old woman. The fire happened on Sunday evening on Magnolia Loop.

Neighbors in the area recalled hearing thunder and seeing lightning around 6:30 p.m. According to fire officials, the homeowner smelled something burning after the strike; however, she didn't find anything on fire. Around 1 in the morning, the woman woke up to her porch in flames.

Division Chief Beau Gardener said those who smell smoke after a lightning strike should call the fire department, out of an abundance of caution.

"Something really small inside of the wall could've been smoldering for a while, and growing and growing over several hours, and finally getting up where it can get some oxygen and breathe and grow," he said. "Don't blow it off. And if you have a breaker that kicks, leave it off. Don't try to turn it back on several times and don't try again later. Leave it off, call an electrician, if you're smelling something call our department or wherever you live."